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    #9247 - 02/20/08 04:08 PM feedback on Aleks for Algebra and beyond
    czechdrum Offline

    Registered: 02/04/08
    Posts: 88
    We homeschool. DS8 has been using Teaching Textbooks for the past year. He started with their Math7 last year, and has been working through their Alg I course since late autumn of this year.

    Recently, we discovered some things about the program that we don't like. Namely, that when DS gets problems wrong, there isn't a way for him to get more practice. TT explains the solution for the incorrect problem(s) and then moves on. However, I expect mastery of skills, and I'd like to ensure this by having him do similar problems if he gets one wrong--enough times to ensure that he has mastered the concept. Am I making sense?

    So...I did some research into other math curricula. Since I'm not a big math person, I want to continue in the same vein as TT in that whatever we pick should be largely self-teaching-friendly. It's also what DS likes for math.

    I found the Aleks site and showed it to DS. He used up the complete 3 hour free trial in one sitting, and he loved being able to try to fill up pieces of his "pie." He asked to do it again today, so I bought a one month membership. [Of course, after I did this, I found out there is a one-month free trial for homeschoolers. *grrr*] He spent over an hour on the site today and was really enjoying himself.

    My questions are:
    * how is Aleks as a standalone math program?
    * do you feel it is rigorous?
    * what are the weaknesses of the program?

    I'd love to hear any and all feedback about Aleks, but especially from the point of view of a homeschooler using it for Algebra and beyond.

    Thank you!

    #9255 - 02/20/08 05:20 PM Re: feedback on Aleks for Algebra and beyond [Re: czechdrum]
    Kriston Offline

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I haven't tried it, but I have yet to hear anyone say anything bad about it, and I've looked! We're using Singapore and like it, but we hit a rough patch and I looked at other options. Aleks was tops on my list.

    The only drawback for me was that we'd have to be home and online for DS6 to do his math. Since we usually have school at my 2nd son's preschool to save on driving time, that wasn't the best arrangement for us. But if Singapore stopped working for us, Aleks is probably what we'd use.

    I don't know if that helps, but it's what little I know. smile

    #9317 - 02/21/08 08:40 AM Re: feedback on Aleks for Algebra and beyond [Re: Dottie]
    elh0706 Offline

    Registered: 03/08/07
    Posts: 353
    Loc: PA
    I haven't looked at the Alek's math for algebra, however, I have been able to generate worksheets of practice problems and tests very easily through the website. Yo uneed to log in as the master account, not the child's ID and your can generate them from the top options pulldowns.

    #9322 - 02/21/08 09:29 AM Re: feedback on Aleks for Algebra and beyond [Re: elh0706]
    delbows Offline

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    My kids each do ALEKS as an addition to their school math.

    I made both start with 6th grade and go through each level (6th grade, middle school 2, middle school 3, pre-algebra, algebra). Since starting in late August, DS has completed three courses at the rate of 1.3 hours per week and is currently on pre-algebra. DD puts in <1 hour per week, and is currently at the algebra level. I’m curious to see how quickly they continue once they get above their present school levels.

    ALEKS incorporates more geometry than they had encountered so far at school, so they have learned new material. It seems more comprehensive than what is offered for the earlier grades, at least, which is why I made them start with the lower grade levels. I don’t know about a stand-alone math course, but I think it is a useful supplement.

    #9386 - 02/22/08 10:43 AM Re: feedback on Aleks for Algebra and beyond [Re: czechdrum]
    mayreeh Offline

    Registered: 02/20/06
    Posts: 156
    Loc: AL
    First of all, this isn't directly on point since you mention specifically algebra and beyond, but I'll offer it up all the same.

    DS has been on Aleks for a year and a half. Started with third grade math and is now on 6th grade.

    He loves filling in his pie. The visual representation of how much he needs to learn helps motivate him.

    There is explanation available to the child where needed, but they can skip it. Personally, I'm okay with that. However, he still have regular math at school, so ALEKS is for fun. If you are doing it as a substitute for math, you might want to lay down some rules about requiring work to be written on paper etc.

    They pull in lots of geometry - which is very cool. DS loves that. He has gotten exposure to so much that he not have seen for years to come (in theory).

    You definitely want to draw a line about when to move up. I told DS that he could shoot for 100%, but if he made 95 or higher on the ending assessment three times, I would move him up. Perfection is really a waste of time on the elementary school work as so much builds on what was covered in the previous level. YOu get a second shot to master it.

    He mostly works alone, but sometimes needs prodding to write his work down so that he doesn't make careless errors.

    Our reason for doing it was to try to get to algebra ASAP. The deal is, they throw so much interesting and challenging materail into the lower levels that it is taking longer than I expected. However, as long as he is getting the challenge he needs, that is all the better, in my book anyway.

    Hope this helps....

    For what it is worth, given his happiness with the program, I have considered doing it myself for some of the accounting/bookeeping topics. It is really a great program.



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